ENGLEWOOD — Shamica Wilson didn’t know what she was in for when she decided to organize one of the largest cleanup events on the South Side earlier this month. All she knew was that she wanted to do something for the community that raised her.
Setting a goal to remove trash from 21 blocks along Racine Avenue in three days was an ambitious undertaking, but it seemed possible, Wilson said.
The #TheHoodTakeover drew volunteers from all over the city but the amount of waste that had accumulated along Racine was too much to handle in one weekend, Wilson said.
So this weekend she’s doing it again and she could use more volunteers and equipment. #TheHoodTakeover, part two will run from Saturday to Monday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Wilson will meet a team of volunteers at 6243 S. Racine Ave. Saturday morning.
Last time, she and other volunteers cleared seven of the 21 blocks. This time, she hopes to finish the rest.
“I was so grateful that people came out, but some lots we had to leave alone because we didn’t have enough people and we didn’t have the right equipment to handle them,” Wilson said.
“We had about 25 volunteers. We worked all day, in the rain, getting drenched. There were lots next to vacant buildings that hadn’t been taken care of for years. We found a saw in one of the lots, a knife that was stuck in the grass. Pampers, tires, big wooden planks, broken glass, everything.”
The Englewood resident is collecting donations to purchase cleaning supplies for volunteers who are unable to bring their own. If anyone has cleaning supplies they’re willing to loan out, they can contact Wilson at DestinyResurrection@gmail.com.
Brooms, dustpans, litter pickers, plastic gloves and garbage bags are on her wish list, along with a truck to haul away the garbage.
Volunteers can register here before the event kicks off Saturday morning, but it isn’t required. Volunteers should be dressed comfortably for the job. Those who can’t make it right at the event kickoff can email Wilson for an exact location of the group.
“If Black Lives Matter, this should matter too,” said Wilson. “This is our home. We have to take care of it.”
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